Eastern Washington basketball adds Savannah State transfer Ralueke Orizu

Savannah State forward Ralueke Orizu, right, attempts to make a pass in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Waco, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Eastern Washington has added some size in the frontcourt with the signing of Savannah State transfer Ralueke Orizu, coach Shantay Legans announced Thursday.

The 6-foot-10, 190-pound Orizu will redshirt next season, leaving him with three seasons of eligibility.

A native of Austell, Georgia, Orizu averaged 3.9 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman power forward for the Tigers of the Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

“He’s very athletic and willing to work on his game,” Eastern coach Shantay Legans said of Orizu, whose strengths are defense and rebounding.

“He’s also a great shot blocker, something we didn’t have on our team last year,” Legans said.

Legans expects Orizu to hone his offensive game with the help of returning starter Mason Peatling.

Orizu played in 26 of 32 games at Savannah State, starting once and shooting 54 percent from the field.

Orizu had a season-high 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field against Morgan State, and his other double-figure scoring performance was 12 points against Carver College when he also had a season-high eight rebounds.

He is a 2017 graduate of South Cobb High School in Georgia, where he averaged 12.5 points and 9.2 rebounds as a senior while making 52 percent of his shots from the field. His team finished 23-8 in the 2016-17 season and advanced to the semifinals of the State 6A Tournament.

Orizu is Eastern’s third signee this year. Earlier this year, Legans signed 6-foot-4 guard Elijah Jackson out of Seattle’s Chief Sealth High School; and Austin Fadal, also 6-4, a guard from Arizona.

The Eagles had just three seniors on their 2017-18 roster.

Howard transferring

Forward Brendan Howard, who redshirted as a true freshman at EWU last year, will transfer to Montana State-Billings, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

Howard is the all-time leading scorer in Class AA Montana basketball.